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Mother of toddler who died of drug overdose charged

April 8, 2022 GMT

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The mother of a 3-year-old boy who died of a fentanyl overdose at a West St. Paul apartment has been charged with manslaughter.

The 34-year-old woman was arrested Thursday and booked into the Dakota County Jail where she is being held on $250,000 bond.

First responders were called to the apartment on Dec. 7, 2020 on a report of a child not breathing. According to a criminal complaint, the mother told police that she had been asleep with the boy on the couch.

She said she woke up to use the bathroom and, when she returned to the couch, realized that he was not breathing and appeared to have vomited, the complaint said. The child was rushed to Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the boy died of a fentanyl overdose, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. The complaint does not say how the boy ingested the drug.

Witnesses told investigators that the defendant was a habitual user of illicit drugs, including fentanyl, at the time of her son’s death, the complaint said.

It was not clear whether the woman has an attorney who could speak on her behalf.